Bhootha Aradhane, Harige, Naga Nrutya and Vatte Kola
No less interesting is the Bhootha Aradhane or devil worship, very common in the coastal towns of Karnataka. Idols representing 'bhoothas' are taken out in a procession to the beating of drums and bursting of firecrackers. As the procession ends, the idols are placed on a pedestal. With sword and jingling bells, a dancer whirls round in imitation of the devil he represents. Frantically pacing up and down, he enters into a state of possession and acts as an oracle.
In the coastal region of South Kanara, the Bhoota Nrutya takes different forms, depending upon the type of the ghost it represents. Koratti, Koraga Taniya, Ali Bhoota, Punjurli, Kuppe Punjurli, Kalkuda, Kallurti, Shiradi Bhoota and many others represent a galaxy of ghosts worshipped in places like Puttur, Mangalore, Bantwal and Uppinangadi.
The chief narrator of the Naga Nrutya (snake dance) is known as Vaidya or Patri. The dance is performed with religious fervour to appeal to the religious susceptibilities of the people.
Vatte Kola is another folk dance that comes under the umbrella of the Bhuta tradition. It is dedicated to ghost worship. The presentation of Vatte Kola begins with the preparation of burning coal in an open field. The performers are required to walk over the burning charcoal pits. The performer of Vatte Kola is an excellent communicator who steals the show through his sincere worshipping of deity for the total welfare of the community.